If you’re reading this, you already know
It had been ten years since Lawrence Kutner had left the practice of Dr. Gregory House. It had been nine years since he’d been married. It had been eight years since they’d adopted their daughter from India, and seven years since they’d purchased their first house.
It had been a week since he’d attended his wife’s funeral.
They were cleaning out the house now, getting ready to move to some place smaller. Ever since his wife had been unable to work and her medical bills had started to steadily increase money had been tight.
He was rummaging through the closet throwing things into assorted boxes. It hadn’t taken him long. All his wife’s things had been packed into boxes and stored in the attic long ago, once it had been determined that she wouldn’t be needing them anymore, and he didn’t have many clothes.
He was throwing one last pair of shoes into a box when it crossed his eye, something he had missed, something that had belonged to his wife.
It was a tiny jewelry box, one for a ring. He considered leaving it closed, wondering if he could handle another painful reminder of the days when his wife had even been able to put on a ring. He sat there hold that little box for a while, until curiosity finally overcame him and he popped it open.
But he was surprised to find that there was no ring in the box. There was only a folder up piece of paper tucked into the pouch.
Kutner picked it from the box and carefully unfolded it.
I’m not going to address this note, because I don’t know who it will go to.
It’s May 20, 2008. I discovered yesterday that I test positive for Huntington’s disease, but if you’re reading this note, you already know that. If you were the first to read this note, you may already know that you were the most important person to me. The reason I don’t know who this note will go to because, at the time of my death, I’m not sure who that will be.
I’m writing this now because I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to write, and I don’t even know if I will have found my most important person by then.
I just want you to know that, whoever you are, I loved you very much, and if I have any children, though I’m sure I won’t, for obvious reasons, I’d like you to tell them that I loved them too.
I hope you don’t find this two long after my death, but if you found it, you can rest assured that it was intended for you, because I hid it somewhere I knew you would be the one to find it.
I just figured I’d leave a note, because I know I won’t be able to talk when I die, and I could hardly express these feelings in any other way.
Whether you’re a doctor, a friend, a (former) colleague, or someone else, I’d like you to know how much I appreciated your sticking with me to the end.
I don’t know what else I can say, because I don’t know who you are, but whoever you are, I hope I say anything else I want you to hear before you read this, because if you’re reading this, I’m already gone.
I don’t really know how to end this note either, because I don’t know what name you’ll no me by, so I just going to guess and hope that even if I’m wrong, you’ll still know who this note is from.
It had been years since Kutner had heard his wife called that, but at the time she’d written this, that was the only name he’d ever heard her called by.
Kutner stared at the note for a long time before stowing it in his pocket. Even though it was incredibly impersonal, because she hadn’t known who she was writing it to, it was special, because she had meant it for him.
It would be five more years until he would attend the funeral of the one other person he could think of that she might have been expecting the note to go to when she wrote it. It would be ten years until he watched his daughter graduate from high school and eighteen years until he would see her graduate from medical school. It would be twenty years before He would rejoice with his daughter over her new job at the very hospital where he’d met her mother. It would be twenty-five years until he met his first grandchild and twenty-seven years until he met his second. It would be forty-two years until he could, once again, sleep next to his wife, and every day of those forty-two years, even to his funeral, he carried that note in his pocket.